Eric Earle 1925 - 2021
The Trinity College London Dining Club has lost one of its most long-standing conscientious and illustrious members. On 23rd December 2021, Eric Earle passed away just into his 97th year, only eight months after his wife, Auriol. They had lived in the same house in Guildford for sixty years and had four children and seven grandchildren. Betraying his Irish upbringing, he also kept a house in Dublin.
Born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, he attended and always held an affection for St Columba’s College Dublin. While at Trinity, he became a scholar, graduating with a BA in Modern History and Political Science in 1947. Along with many of his compatriots at that time, he moved to England and joined the Colonial Education Service.
In 1952 he was posted to Ghana where he spent ten years, ending up as the Principal Education Officer. He had a close view of the change of government when in 1957, Kwame Nkrumah became President of the newly independent country and introduced free and compulsory primary education, which led to a rapid expansion of pupils. Eric’s experience and knowledge, along with his continuing loyalty, led to him and friends forming in 1986 the Ghana School Aid charity, which assists the development of 100 schools in the country.
That loyalty aspect was evident during Eric’s long association with the London TCD Dining Club. At his passing, he was probably the longest-serving member and a Vice-Chairman. By the early 1980’s he was a Committee Member, and from 1994 to 1997, he was a most successful and active Secretary. Sage advice and hard work were ever generously given. In 1994 he (and Auriol) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the club with fellow members in Dublin. The highlights were a dinner in the Dining Hall and a tour of Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland.
Eric was a superb diner. It did not matter whom he sat beside; he could be a most convivial talker and listener. A man without ego or airs, he was modest about his achievements, kind and helpful. He will be sadly missed by all who experienced his warmth, generosity, good humour and betraying his origin until the end, his lilt.
By Eric Lowry January 2022